An atheist a theist and a militant agnostic are in class in primary school and the teacher is going over their times-tables. They’ve been taught the basic principle and their two, three and four times table when the teacher writes up a more difficult problem on the blackboard:
7 x 8 =?
The theist answers: “Three hundred and seventy two!”
The atheist answers: “I don’t know, but I’m pretty damn sure it’s not three hundred and seventy two. Can I check on my calculator?”
The militant agnostic answers: “I don’t know, and neither do any of you other fuckers!” Then storms off in a huff.
A great deal of effort is put into ‘teaching’ – some would say brainwashing – kids into a particular religion. Personally I find this as obnoxious and disgusting as I would the forcible indoctrination of children into the Ku Klux Klan and potentially even more damaging in the long term.
Whether it’s ‘This is how I was brought up’ or ‘William Lane Craig says so’, the argument is basically the same. Someone that you, perhaps ill-advisedly, trust has told you X, therefore you believe it and them.
This is a fallacy known as the ‘Argument from Authority’ and it’s fallacious because simply because someone is in a position of authority or is right about something else, doesn’t mean that they’re right about this.
Theists occasionally like to turn this around and say ‘Well, you haven’t done all these scientific experiments yourself, you’re just trusting the scientists’.
Science constantly tries to disprove itself, it is subject to peer review and repeat experimentation. Over the last few centuries it has established a great track record of useful discoveries and of weeding out issues and falsehoods. The exact opposite of what’s happened with religious claims. Additionally, science rests on evidence, not the authority of the person presenting it and – perhaps most importantly – science has practical applications, which wouldn’t work if the theories were wrong.
Faith is belief without evidence.
A (combined) definition for a delusional disorder is:
“A fixed false belief held without and or against evidence.”
Considering the nature of religious beliefs it’s pretty obvious to anyone not suffering from cognitive bias that this is essentially the same bloody thing and ‘revealed knowledge’ or ‘personal experience’ ain’t going to cut it as evidence.